The Next Big Thing

Gym class sharing comes to Hong Kong with launch of Kfit platform

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 6:30am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 6:30am

Fitness class sharing platform KFit is to launch in Hong Kong this month, allowing the city’s gym bunnies to try a range of different exercise classes for one monthly fee.

Instead of joining one gym or studio, KFit allows users to sign up for a monthly subscription to take a variety of classes across different partner gyms or studios. No price details were available for Hong Kong, but for Singapore users currently the cost is SG$99 (HK$578).

“The model’s about aggregating and pulling in all these different fitness providers and democratising it for customers, and the rationale behind it is that across Asia it’s less than 5 per cent of people that have fitness memberships,” KFit’s founder Joel Neoh said.

KFit’s fitness sharing model is similar to US-based ClassPass, which grew from 50,000 reservations in 2013 to more than one million in 2014.

Launched in mid-April in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, KFit has more than 500 partners across Asia offering more than 10,000 classes.

To manage demand and not flood new gym partners with users, KFit has a waiting list of 75,000 people, with around 10,000 of those from Hong Kong.

Gym partners benefit by filling otherwise under-subscribed classes with new faces as well as gaining the chance to convert KFit users to members.

KFit has raised seed funding in the US dollar seven-figure range from a mixture of angel investors and venture capital firms including 500 Startups, SXE Ventures and Founders Global.

Neoh said the company started with fitness offerings including yoga, Zumba and kickboxing, but customer demand for badminton courts, snooker and golf driving ranges has seen these options added to the service.

“We want to be like a to-do, almost an activity platform that ties in very closely with fitness,” Neoh said.

Early sign ups from users in Australia and New Zealand have prompted the start-up to launch in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland by the end of this month.

KFit plans to expand to all cities in Asia within the next 18 to 24 months, but Neoh said the company will not rush into the Chinese market.

“China is always the most attractive Asian market, and India of course, both are very attractive,” Neoh said. “[But] while we want to execute fast, we have to be very methodical in these two markets”

China’s fitness industry is expected to be worth US$6.8 billion by 2018 as Chinese citizens become richer and seek out indoor exercise options to escape the country’s air pollution problem.

Neoh, who is Malaysian, started his first company at the age of 20 and most recently worked as head of Groupon Asia Pacific.